Wholesale Loyalty Programs: Building a B2B Loyalty Program

Nick Mirev
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    In competitive sectors, investing in marketing and increasing brand loyalty is important. That’s why wholesale loyalty programs are among the primary marketing techniques used by broadline suppliers and distributors that focus on specific niche markets. With their help, suppliers can build a trusting relationship with their customers. In this article, we’ll share more about wholesale loyalty programs, what are their benefits, how to create one, and how they increase wholesale sales. If you’re interested in improving your wholesale business, make sure to also check out our post on how to manage a wholesale business.

    Key takeaway: The main benefit of wholesale loyalty programs is that they increase the average order value and incentivize customers to partner with your business. They can include various perks such as free deliveries and shipping, better customer service and response time, reduced prices on certain product categories, and cashback.
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    What Are Wholesale Loyalty Programs

    A loyalty program rewards repeat customers incentives in order to encourage repeat orders. Those incentives can be discounts, free products, improved customer support, or other features such as early access to products or free shipping. That being said, the goal of a wholesale loyalty program is to improve the relationship between suppliers and their business clients. With its help, businesses are less likely to change their distributor and lose the perks they get from the wholesale loyalty program.

    Different Types of Loyalty Programs

    1. Points-based loyalty programs. They are the most popular variety. With points-based programs, customers accumulate points based on their orders. These points can be exchanged for free products, special services, or other perks. Some wholesale loyalty programs also have cashback.
    2. Tiered loyalty programs. They have different levels that customers can achieve based on the revenue they generate. Higher levels of the tiered loyalty program give better perks. Some loyalty programs also have rules that the levels should be maintained in order to keep the perks. 
    3. Paid loyalty programs. Instead of collecting points or crawling up in tiers, customers can immediately access the perks of fee-based programs. Amazon Prime is the most popular paid loyalty program.
    4. Value-based loyalty programs. The idea of this type is to offer more than just perks to both customers and businesses. An example of such a program is to donate a percentage of purchases to charities. Giving customers the opportunity to choose the charity will further improve the relationship between the business and the customer.

    How to Start a Wholesale Loyalty Program

    1. Define KPIs and goals. Decide what you want to achieve with the wholesale loyalty program and how it’s measured.
    2. Understand what customers want. Gather feedback from customers on what they’d like to see as perks in your future loyalty program. Avoid common mistakes like offering perks that most competitors give even without a loyalty program or making the tiers/points seem meaningless to customers.
    3. Choose the type of loyalty program. A points-based system based on revenue is the easiest to implement. However, tiered loyalty programs can be better suited for wholesale businesses.
    4. Implement and promote the program. The wholesale loyalty program should be aligned with documents such as contracts and wholesale purchase agreements. It should also be promoted among existing and potential customers.
    5. Track and adapt. If you have a proper wholesale inventory management system on your eCommerce B2B platform, you can easily track the results of the wholesale loyalty program. The data gathered will help you adapt by adding new tiers, including new perks, or excluding certain opportunities from the program.
    6. Grow and personalize. The main goals of a wholesale loyalty program are to help you grow your business and improve your relationship with customers. Therefore, you can make it more personalized by organizing closed events for top performers in the program. You can also grow the program to a full-scale partnership program that includes referral bonuses and other mutually beneficial features.
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    Benefits of Wholesale Loyalty Programs

    There are multiple advantages for suppliers to start a wholesale loyalty program. Let’s examine the most important ones.

    Lasting Loyalty and Improved Relationships with Customers

    By starting a wholesale loyalty program, businesses ensure the lasting loyalty of their clients. It’s also a way to improve customer relationships and incentivize sales of specific wholesale items to sell in a margin-friendly way.

    Helps with Business Resilience

    In times of economic turmoil, loyalty programs can be crucial for a business. They guarantee that your existing customers won’t easily switch to another supplier with slightly lower prices.

    Improves Engagement

    The gamification component of a wholesale loyalty program can influence the buying decision and lead to higher average order value.

    Passing the Cons to Producers and Manufacturers

    Wholesalers have big negotiating leverage. This means that they can negotiate discounts from manufacturers they partner with. Therefore, if your wholesale loyalty program gives discounts for orders of certain wholesale products, you can in turn negotiate the same discount from the manufacturer. This keeps your profit margin intact.


    A business that has a loyalty program can easily introduce a referral program as well. This will give your existing customers the chance to increase their perks or cashback by referring new clients. This decreases the customer acquisition costs for wholesalers and helps them scale and grow.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Wholesale Loyalty Programs

    Thousands of companies have used our SaaS solutions to improve their B2B sales. BlueCart also helps wholesale businesses with valuable information and tips regarding the B2B industry. Whether you’re interested in how to become a wholesaler or you wish to know more about wholesale billing software, our website is the right place for you. Below are some popular questions about wholesale loyalty programs

    What Are the Differences Between B2B and B2C loyalty programs?

    The target audience is the main difference between B2C and B2B loyalty programs. Businesses that sell products to end customers focus on loyalty program features that are important to them. Those can be discounted overnight shipping costs or special offers on future orders. On the other hand, B2B loyalty programs aim at establishing a long-lasting partnership. Therefore, the features in wholesale loyalty programs are custom-tailored to the needs of the business. 

    What Are B2B Loyalty Programs?

    B2B loyalty programs are very similar to wholesale loyalty programs. The difference is that they can be used not only by suppliers but also by other businesses that focus on B2B sales. For example, logistics companies can have a successful B2B loyalty program that can help them keep their current customers and acquire new ones. The same is true for companies that do both B2B and B2C sales. Having a tiered loyalty program can help increase the average order value from your clients and give them an incentive to work with you instead of other competitors.

    What Are Other Marketing Methods Wholesale Business Owners Can Use?

    Besides wholesale loyalty programs, distributors can use a variety of marketing strategies to promote their products and services. Here are some of the popular ones.

    1. Direct marketing. Wholesalers can reach their customers directly through different means like directories or email. Furthermore, they can visit or exhibit at trade shows and fairs to reach decision makers.
    2. Search engine marketing. With the help of search engine optimization and search engine ads, wholesale distribution businesses can get multiple new customers.
    3. Product samples and discounts. In order to find suppliers, businesses wish to check out their products and discuss potential special offers.
    4. Collaborations with other companies. Wholesale businesses can partner with other companies in the sector to better promote their products. For example, a wholesale coffee distributor can partner with a distributor of dairy-free milk products or a cafe equipment supplier. 
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